Gem Box® Inkberry Holly

As low as $49.49 was $89.99
Availability: In stock

Dwarf broad-leaved evergreen stays formal, neat and tidy! If you love the evergreen look of Boxwood but want to step out of the pack a bit, try Gem Box® Inkberry Holly (Ilex glabra 'SMNIGAB17')! This Proven Winners® plant is long in style, but short in stature. We're sure you'll appreciate it all year-round!

Dark green, lustrous fine textured foliage sports beautiful red blushed new growth. This is a female cultivar, but currently, no males have been introduced to pollinate it so it is grown as a broadleaved evergreen that does not set fruit. Dense and fluffy, this Inkberry maintains good branching right to the ground, Gem Box® always looks classy and full!

The fine-textured, glossy, lance-shaped leaves bring a year round dark-green sheen and a high-style look to your garden throughout USDA growing zones 5 to 9 adding an amazing designer touch to your landscape! It will tolerate several hours of shade a day. That makes it even more versatile to use near ornamental trees, patios, and foundations.

Planting and Application:

Create backdrops, and garden definition, adding formal structure to beds or borders without the designer price tag! Try them in small containers along a walkway or at your entry. Gem Box® Ilex remains neat and tidy, and you'll love using the mounded structural accent in just about any garden bed! These bring a lovely quality to containers and planters.

That steady year-round green just looks so handsome and the dainty dark-green leaves retain that glossy sheen! Fitting into formal beds as well as they do loose country plantings! Evergreen shrubs are amazing facer shrubs to hide the bare legs of your larger foundation plants.

For a solid low hedge, plant them 1 - 3 feet on center. You'll measure from the center of one shrub to the center of the next. As your budget allows, plant them closer together. They'll fill in faster for you! You can also try a staggered zig-zag to create a mass planting on a slope or a large bare patch. The plants will grow to create a low-maintenance groundcover.

  • Lustrous Green Foliage with Red Tips in Spring
  • Sophisticated Lance-Shaped Leaves
  • Dwarf Broad-Leaf Evergreen
  • Dense Ball-Shaped Plant
  • Fantastic Small Evergreen Hedge & Gorgeous in Containers!

#ProPlantTips for Care:

Gem Box® Inkberry Holly It also performs beautifully in full sun all day long as well as displaying good shade tolerance! Gem Box® is an excellent alternative to Boxwood, especially in those areas that do not have quite so well-drained soils. Preferring moist acidic soils and appreciating winter watering. Just keep it weeded and fertilized with Dr. Earth Acid Lovers Premium Fertilizer in spring and mid-summer to support that inviting color all year round! A generous layer of mulch helps retain soil moisture as well as insulate the root system from heat and chill.

  • Full Sun to Part Shade
  • Most Moist Soil Types
  • Prune to Shape Late Winter
  • Nice Alternative to Boxwood
  • Deer Resistant

Every garden bed needs a strong, architectural anchor, and charming little Gem Box® Inkberry Holly fills the spot perfectly! Order enough to complete your project from Nature Hills Nursery today!

Buying Options for Plants

Nature Hills sells a large variety of plants with several options available. Plants are offered in both potted containers and as dormant bare root without soil. Here is a helpful resource to understand your options as you create a beautiful landscape with help from Nature Hills.

Ever wonder what a larger plant will mean for your landscape? Container Sizes are really all about the age of the plant!

Seasonally, Nature Hills offers hand selected, high quality bare root trees, shrubs and perennials. Bare root plants are sold by height from the top of the root system to the top of the plant. Plants may be taller than the height minimums.

  • Popular sizes of select trees are 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet, etc.
  • Popular sizes of select bare root plants is 1 foot, 18 inches, etc.

Nature Hills Container Size by Volume

Keep in mind, specific varieties and different growing conditions can affect the rate at which plants grow. Variations in size may occur.

Young Plants to 18 Months
Size Volume
2"x2"x3" Ranges from .18 to .21 dry quarts / .198 to .23 dry liters in volume
4.5" Container Equal to .65 dry quart / .72 dry liter in volume
Sprinter Pot Equal to .63 dry quart / .69 dry liter in volume
4" Container Ranges from .31 to .87 / .35 to .96 dry liter in volume
6" Container Equal to 1.4 dry quarts / 1.59 dry liters in volume
1 Quart Equal to 1 dry quart / 1.1 dry liter in volume
5.5" Container Equal to 1.89 of a dry quart / 2.08 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x5" Ranges from .8 to 1.1 dry quarts / .88 to 1.2 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x6" Ranges from 1.0 to 1.3 dry quarts / 1.1 to 1.41 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x9" Ranges from 1.1 to 2.1 dry quarts / 1.2 to 2.3 dry liters in volume
4"x4"x10" Ranges from 1.7 to 2.3 dry quart / 1.87 to 2.53 dry liters in volume
Plants 18 Months - 2.5 Years Old
Size Volume
2 Quart Equal to 2 dry quarts / 2.2 dry liters in volume
#1 Container Ranges from 2.26 to 3.73 dry quarts / 2.49 to 4.11 dry liters in volume
5"x5"x12" Equal to 3.5 to 4.3 dry quarts / 3.85 to 4.74 dry liters in volume
Plants 2 - 4 Years Old
Size Volume
#2 Container Ranges from 1.19 to 1.76 dry gallons / 5.24 to 7.75 dry liters in volume
#3 Container Ranges from 2.32 to 2.76 dry gallons / 10.22 to 12.16 dry liters in volume
Plants 3 - 5 Years Old
Size Volume
#5 Container Ranges from 2.92 to 4.62 dry gallons / 12.86 to 20.35 dry liters in volume
#6 Container Ranges from 5.25 to 6.01 dry gallons / 23.12 to 26.42 dry liters in volume
#7 Container Ranges from 5.98 to 6.08 dry gallons / 26.34 to 26.78 dry liters in volume

About Plant Sentry™

Plant Sentry is designed to protect both consumers and the nursery trade from invasive plant pests and diseases. Sites that display the Plant Sentry protection badge are protected from consumers buying and nurseries shipping material carrying invasive pests and diseases.

This proprietary eCommerce software prevents the shipment of a restricted plant to each state. The Plant Sentry system includes a shipment certification program. The Plant Sentry Compliance Officer works closely with and each nursery or fulfillment center to ensure only compliant plants are sold to customers.

Click Here to learn more

Plant Sentry


To obtain a more accurate shipment time-frame, simply enter your zip code in the “Find Your Growing Zone” box to the right. Our plants are grown all over the country and lead time on items may be different because of this. Once your order is placed, you will also receive the specific shipment time-frame information as part of your order confirmation. Once an item ships, you will receive shipment notification and tracking numbers, so you can follow along while your plant travels to your doorstep. We use FedEx, UPS, or USPS at our discretion.

Due to winter weather we have put a hold on shipping to the areas shown below in grey. You can still order now and we will ship the plant to you during an appropriate time for your zone.

*If you have found your zone already, it will be highlighted in the table below.
Color Zone Times
3 Spring 2019
4 Now
5 Now
6 Now
7 Now
8 Now
9 Now
10 Now
11 Now

Shipping Rates

At Nature Hills we handle, package and ship the products you order with the utmost care to ensure healthy delivery. Shipping and handling charges are calculated based on the tables below. Please note that some items include an additional handling surcharge, these will be noted on the item's product page.

From To S&H
0 - 19.99 24.99
20 - 49.99 29.99
50 - 69.99 34.99
70 - 99.99 39.99
100 - 129.99 44.99
130 - 149.99 48.99
150 - 150+ Approx 28%

Click here to see our full rates


Gem Box® Inkberry Holly Is Suited to Grow in Zones 5-9
Growing Zones 5-9
More Information
Brand Proven Winners ColorChoice
Botanical Name Ilex glabra 'SMNIGAB17'
Type Broad-Leaved Evergreen
Mature Height 2 - 3 feet
Mature Spread 2 - 3 feet
Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
Soil Well Drained
Moisture Moderate
Growth Rate Slow
Foliage Color Red New Spring Growth
Fall Color Evergreen
Pollinator Friendly No
Pruning Time Early Spring
Photos courtesy of Proven Winners, Inc -